Larsen resigns as Dow Jones president

NEW YORK, Tue Jun 19, 2012 – The president of News Corp unit Dow Jones & Co has resigned, the company said on Tuesday.

Todd Larsen, who worked for Dow Jones for more than a decade, was appointed president in 2010. He is leaving the company as it takes shape under Lex Fenwick, who was appointed chief executive earlier this year.

Larsen steered Dow Jones after CEO Les Hinton, a longtime associate of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, left in July 2011 as News Corp grappled with a phone hacking scandal that has enveloped its newspapers in Britain.

Larsen reported to News Corp President Chase Carey until Fenwick was appointed Dow Jones CEO in February. Larsen was also in the running for the CEO job, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time of Hinton’s departure.

The company did not give any details of Larsen’s plans. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fenwick, a Bloomberg LP veteran who headed the company from 2001 until 2008, is attempting to apply Bloomberg’s strategy of selling one product at one price at Dow Jones, according to a source familiar with the matter. Dow Jones has multiple products and price points.

“Our digital business, one that others look to emulate, is at the forefront of the industry, and that is a testament to Todd’s leadership and guidance, and we will continue to build upon that as we move forward,” Fenwick said in a statement.

As president of Dow Jones, Larsen was responsible for business operations for the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Factiva and Dow Jones Newswires.

He started with Dow Jones in 1999 as corporate director of strategic planning and development and worked his way up, including oversight of the Journal’s online business.

The Wall Street Journal was one of the first newspapers to charge readers for access to online content.

MF Global CEO Jon Corzine resigns under fire after bankruptcy filing

NEW YORK ― Jon Corzine has resigned as MF Global Holdings Ltd’s chairman and chief executive officer four days after the futures brokerage filed for bankruptcy protection, culminating a rapid downfall for one of Wall Street’s best-known executives.

Corzine said his decision was voluntary and was best for the company and its stakeholders.

“I feel great sadness for what has transpired at MF Global and the impact it has had on the firm’s clients, employees and many others,” Corzine said. “I intend to continue to assist the company and its board in their efforts to respond to regulatory inquiries and issues related to the disposition of the firm’s assets.”

Friday’s resignation is the latest development in a stunning downfall for Corzine, 64, who ran Goldman Sachs & Co in the late 1990s and was subsequently a U.S. senator from New Jersey and governor of that state. MF Global, which Corzine joined in March 2010, had been his ticket back to Wall Street.

Corzine is not seeking severance, the company said. He had been entitled to a $9 million payout if he were let go without cause, a July regulatory filing shows.

The bankruptcy filing came after MF Global’s bets on European sovereign debt scared away clients, counterparties and investors. It was accelerated after major credit rating agencies downgraded the company to “junk” status last week.

U.S. regulators, meanwhile, are conducting a broad review of the company’s business as they try to track down more than $600 million of missing customer money.

In a statement, MF Global said Bradley Abelow, its chief operating officer, and Edward Goldberg, its lead director, will remain in their positions.

Brokerages such as MF Global are required to keep customer money segregated from their own cash. Questions about whether this took place at MF Global have attracted the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as regulators.

Neither MF Global nor Corzine has been accused of wrongdoing.

Corzine has hired leading white-collar defense lawyer Andrew Levander of Dechert LLP to represent him in cases that might stem from the bankruptcy filing, a legal source briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

Levander has represented outside directors of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc and former Merrill Lynch & Co chief John Thain, among others. Corzine has hired separate counsel for the bankruptcy case.

“We will look at every aspect of how the firm conducted business,” Mary Schapiro, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, told Reuters on Thursday.

Longtime P&G men’s razor leader Bergh leaving to seek CEO post

CHICAGO ― Longtime Procter & Gamble Co. executive Charles “Chip” Bergh, a leader in the Gillette razor business, is leaving to try to become a chief executive officer of a major company, the household products maker said Tuesday.

Bergh, 53, is the latest in a string of executives leaving the company. Edward Shirley, a longtime Gillette executive, has announced plans to retire in January, while P&G veteran Robert Steele is retiring in September.

P&G has “the right team in place” to continue growing its beauty and grooming business, said CEO Bob McDonald.

“The large number of recent management departures is a sign that P&G is still in a state of disquiet,” said Sanford Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj.

Cincinnati-based P&G is seen as a training ground for executives, but these days there are fewer top spots inside the company’s executive suite.

When Steele’s departure plans were announced in February, P&G consolidated from three global units to two. Steele, who joined P&G in 1976, also has his sights on trying to become CEO of a major company.

One company searching for a CEO is Newell Rubbermaid Inc. which last week cut its expectations in the face of rising costs. CEO Mark Ketchum plans to retire after six years at Newell and 33 years at P&G.

Bergh joined P&G as a brand assistant in cleaning products in 1983 and since then has worked in areas from food and beverage to razors. He became president of P&G’s global grooming business in 2006, the same year the Gillette unit launched Fusion, the top-selling blade and razor brand in the world. He was named president of global male grooming in 2009.

Patrice Louvet, the president of P&G’s global prestige unit, is replacing Bergh as president of global male grooming. Joanne Crewes, vice president of the global SKII and female beauty brands in the Australasian, ASEAN, India, Japan and Korea markets, is succeeding Louvet in the global prestige role.

Crewes’ knowledge of the Asian beauty consumer is “critical” to winning in prestige, McDonald said.

Louvet and Crewes will assume their new roles on July 1, and Bergh will leave the company as of Sept. 1, P&G said.